Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment

Date: 06/24/2016 06:20 AM

AP-OR–2nd Right Now/1068
Latest Oregon news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. PDT


The Latest: Union Pacific touts safety of fastening system

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A spokesman for Union Pacific Railroad says the company’s rail fastening system has an outstanding safety history.

Spokesman Justin Jacobs’ statement was in response to the Federal Railroad Administration’s preliminary report on a June 3 fiery oil train derailment in the town of Mosier, Oregon. The report blamed Union Pacific for not properly maintaining its tracks and missing problems with bolts that fasten the rail ties to the rails.

Jacobs says the company will replace all the lag bolts with rail spikes, which will make problems easier to detect on inspections.

He also says an upgraded braking system called for by the Federal Railroad Administration wouldn’t have made a difference in the severity of the derailment.



US giving $48 million to help West deal with drought

BRIGHTON, Colo. (AP) – The Obama administration is announcing $48 million in grants to help farmers and others in the West conserve water and energy amid drought and climate change.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to discuss the plan Thursday in Colorado. The Agriculture Department says the effort will include 76 projects in at least 11 states.

The department says the program will include improving irrigation systems.

The grants will come from both the Agriculture and Interior departments.


Mom of child strangled by window blinds cord sues apartment

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The mother of a 3-year-old girl who died after being strangled by a window blinds cord in a Clackamas County apartment has filed a $4 million lawsuit.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Sahrye Imani Hardy had been visiting a resident at Pineview Apartments with her mother last year when she became entangled in a dangling cord.

The suit alleges the apartment management company allowed cords longer than 7 ¼ inches to hang from the window covering, posing a hazard for children.

A lawyer representing Sahrye’s estate says the cord cuts off a person’s ability to speak or cry for help, which is why Sahrye’s mother didn’t notice her daughter was being strangled until it was too late.

A representative from the management company said Wednesday they hadn’t seen the lawsuit and declined comment.



Homes evacuated after report of dynamite blasting caps

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) – Several homes in Linn County have been evacuated after authorities were alerted to a discovery of dynamite blasting caps.

Police logs show someone called 911 Thursday morning to report that he had found a “tub full of blasting caps.”

The sheriff’s office notified the Oregon State Police bomb squad and several homes in the area between Albany and Corvallis were evacuated as a precautionary measure. A nearby road was also closed off and traffic was diverted.

The incident remains under investigation.


Springfield man accused of raping teen he met online

(Information from: The Register-Guard,

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Lane County authorities say they have arrested a Springfield man on suspicion of having sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl.

The Register-Guard reports that the 25-year-old suspect was arrested Wednesday. He faces charges of rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and online sexual corruption.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Carrie Carver says deputies had received a report of the alleged incident June 16 and found that the suspect had met the victim online. Authorities say he met with the teen several times in person and at different locations in Lane County.

The case remains under investigation.



Grand jury considers FBI’s use of force in Finicum shooting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A federal prosecutor revealed in a court document that the investigation of FBI agents involved in the traffic stop that led to the killing of Oregon standoff spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum is before a grand jury.

Attorneys for the defendants accused of taking part in the Ammon Bundy-led takeover of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon have been seeking records from the investigation into the FBI’s use of force in the Finicum shooting and whether there was a cover-up.

In a motion to keep reports sealed, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Gorder wrote Thursday that matters before a grand jury are protected from disclosure rules.

Oregon State Police troopers fired the rounds that killed Finicum during the Jan. 26 confrontation on a remote road, and the shooting was deemed to be justified.

Investigators, however, discovered FBI agents failed to disclose they fired two rounds that missed Finicum.


Eugene, Ore., to bill Trump campaign $92,300 for rally costs

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The city of Eugene plans to the bill the Donald Trump campaign nearly $100,000 to pay for costs associated with last month’s visit.

Police Chief Pete Kerns said in an email Wednesday that overtime compensation for police officers totaled $78,000 while firefighters and other city employees racked up another $10,000 in OT.

Meals and other expenses for the more than 170 officers assigned to the rally cost the city another $4,500. It all adds up to $92,300.

Police made no arrests at the May 6 rally, but Kerns says the challenges of providing security were “unique and unlike any we’ve seen.”

Campaigns are not obligated to reimburse cities for the costs of providing security. Kerns says if Trump does pay, the money would be deposited into the city’s general fund.


Oregon refuge occupier Wesley Kjar pleads guilty

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A Salt Lake City man who briefly served as Ammon Bundy’s bodyguard during the armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge is the latest defendant to accept a plea deal.

Before a federal judge in Portland, Wesley Kjar (care) pleaded guilty Thursday to a conspiracy charge, admitting he and others agreed to stop Interior Department employees from doing their jobs at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

In exchange, prosecutors dismissed a charge of firearms possession in a federal facility.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel says the government will recommend a sentence of six months home detention when Kjar man receives his punishment Oct. 28.

He is the fifth of 26 defendants to plead guilty in the case. Most of the other 21 are scheduled to go on trial in September.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.